Microsoft may be putting together an "entertainment marketplace" tentatively named Zune VideoX, ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reported Wednesday. In other words, it's yet another digital content store trying to take a bite out of Apple's iTunes.
Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Devices and Entertainment eHome division, is reportedly spearheading the project. But it goes without saying that as with any of these "iTunes killers" that seem to pop up like mushrooms after rain, well, it's going to be an uphill battle even for Redmond.
Creating a solid digital download … Read more
I found this article on O'Reilly's (Microsoft-sponsored) Port 25 page fascinating. For all Microsoft's attempts to own the budding minds of students, it may well be that Microsoft has become too corporate, too sterile to be of interest to the creative mind:
Even back in my day, you could go to a "Windows lab" and work with Visual Studio or go to a "UNIX lab" and use vi and gcc. And you know what? All the fun was in the UNIX lab. And not just for me. There was just a difference in the attitudes and ethic across the two lab environments. People in the Windows lab were trying to get their project in before it was 11:59 PM, while people in the UNIX lab were goofing off, playing with code, and... trying to get their project in before it was 11:59 PM.
What is it about UNIX, vi, emacs, gcc, perl, and INSERT-HERE that makes it fun to play with, while Visual Studio just makes you want to... well, work?
In the enterprise, this alleged Microsoft attribute might be considered a Very Good Thing. But is it? Do enterprises really want automatons that punch in and code to spec? Or do they want innovation that changes the game?… Read more
The report, released Tuesday, showed that while search-marketing dollars rose 28.5 percent in the first quarter over the previous year, the results within the three-month period appeared less encouraging. Sequentially, search-related advertising dollars fell 47.6 percent in January over the previous month, while February declined 33.5 percent and March 19.1 percent.
While the first-quarter sequential month-to-month decline could be expected, in part, due to seasonality … Read more
Everyone likes to talk about the battle between Microsoft and Apple on the OS front, but that seems like old hat to me. Sure, there's certainly a battle being waged in that space, but is it really as hotly contested as some want to believe? Call me when Mac OS X hits 20 percent market share.
But there is one battle raging between Apple and Microsoft that many people don't even see. No, it's not in the MP3 player market where the iPod reigns supreme, it's in the home entertainment business. More specifically, the battle being waged pits the Apple TV against the Xbox 360.
Now I know what you're thinking -- "isn't the Xbox 360 a video game console and the Apple TV is a media device"? Yes and no. The description of each device may be correct, but the Xbox 360 description doesn't say enough about the console. Aside from its gaming capabilities, Microsoft's product performs many of the tasks already found on the Apple TV -- streaming entertainment, music, movies and TV show viewing and a hard drive that can store your favorite material.
And with an installed base of over 18 million that easily eclipses the Apple TV's 1.7 million installed base, there's no reason to suggest Microsoft can't win the battle and finally deal the Apple TV its death blow. And here's how it should do it:… Read more
Update: As a clarification, Microsoft previously had a Google News competitor, named MSN Newsbot, which no longer exists.
At this time, Live Search News looks like a simplified version of Google News. The layout and design are aesthetically pleasing and will be familiar to Techmeme readers.
The orange breaking-news bar on the top is a decent feature of the site and only appears when big news is happening. The breaking-news information, unfortunately, appears only to … Read more
Microsoft has 32 percent of the embedded software market, but apparently fears Linux's 8 percent (and rising) share....[L]ast October, VDC released the results of a survey in which embedded developers overwhelmingly said that they planned to use either free or licensed versions of Linux on their next projects instead of proprietary operating systems. "Linux remains an attractive operating system choice for a range of embedded development teams for a number of reasons, including: royalty-free runtime costs, advanced networking capabilities and technical features, [and] the large base of engineers familiar with the Linux operating system," the research firm said.
In response, Microsoft is reshaping and expanding its line of embedded Windows products.
Good luck. The embedded market is perfectly suited to open source, and not to a license-driven model like Microsoft's. Here's why.… Read more
Google Maps and Google Earth may be two separate services, but the gap between the software and Webware apps is narrowing. Last night Google rolled out a new view in Maps, enabling users to view geocoded YouTube videos, something Google Earth users have been doing since October of last year.
The videos show up as small red dots, and can be played right on the map. To enable the feature users simply need to add the layer from Google's map add-ons directory, which has quickly grown to include more than 50 add-ons--many of which come from third parties.
One … Read more
Google gained market share in the United States over search rivals in March, rising 0.53 percentage points to an all-time high of 59.8 percent, according to new ComScore results released Tuesday.
"We were somewhat surprised at the March uptick, especially since the company had previously alluded that the unusual Easter timing could impact search activity," said Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney in a report Tuesday that quoted the ComScore numbers.
Yahoo, meanwhile, slipped 0.3 percentage points to 21.3 percent, and Microsoft dropped 0.2 percentage points to 9.4 percent--both figures are record lows for … Read more